7 Strategies to Help Parents Get More Done
Is this perhaps the greatest challenge of all?
Achieving harmony between work, health, relationships, kids, friendships, career, interests, family, home and money to name a few. Most parents wish they had more time for all of these things.
everything has been completed so there is time for fun! Perhaps you decide to spend time with your family and friends. Maybe you decide to enjoy your own time, do your passion or, even go on a date night.
The reality is this may be the case when we were younger. Since then, you may have more responsibility at work or, perhaps you are trying to squeeze in some study. You may have even setup a business. You may have bought a home with some large debt and have some beautiful kids now too. You may have realised or, coming to realise, that you have so many more responsibilities and competing interests now. You love your kids, but you maybe feeling bogged down with trying to get everything done.
This pressure can take a toll on our physical state, as well as our mental well being too. This affects our relationships, as well as an increase in financial costs when things are neglected. There is a cost with anything in life which isn't maintained.
As parents we can feel time-poor, overwhelmed and that we are not keeping up. There was a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald that referenced a survey that Womens Health conducted. It found that many struggled to juggle work, family, parents and other responsibilities. Matthew Johns, footballer and announcer on Triple M radio, described on air that parenting is relentless
There must be better way
Soon after having kids and experiencing many nights of broken sleep (as parents can understand), I thought that there must be a better way. Please find an overview of seven (7) strategies that I now use and I hope it is valuable to you and your family too.
The overarching idea is that we can do more of what we enjoy, by being more efficient with everything else that still must be done. Perhaps even stopping some things too.
1. Fuel up
Fuelling up by creating energy & purpose, is about using your bodies & mindset, to be equipped to achieve and enjoy life. Getting in an optimal mental & physical state is certainly a must when we have kids. This step is also about gaining clarity & getting excited about what is important to you, including what you want to –
- Have &
- Experience in life.
I find that parents would love more time with family, friends and enjoying their passions. Although sometimes I feel that people want a break from the relentlessness, but get to the stage they haven’t identified what they would do instead. Appreciating why you want this life will be your fuel, especially on those challenging days too. I find the clearer our goals & bucket list, the greater sense of purpose.
Focus & Review is ensuring we have regular time to focus & remind ourselves about what is important, what we should be thankful for, as well what needs to be done. This may be done initially on the run, say when travelling or, before checking social media. The idea is to change our focus from purely day-to-day tasks, to be also regularly focused on our goals, life vision and reviewing if there is a better way. Prioritising and focusing on achieving 'work-life harmony' is important too. This shift in focus and having a sense of gratitude, will help us feel more positive and resilient too.
Formulating the strategy/steps to achieve our goals/tasks can done by being a 'Creator' or, a 'Copier'. We need the best strategy, not necessarily our strategy, so modelling others is often the best way, rather than reinventing the wheel. If we need better results, we need better strategies & once we have the strategy, we have clarity of what to-do next. For example, just changing when and how we do things can make a big difference. When deciding on strategies, ensure they align with the overarching idea of having time for fun!
Outsourcing of tasks to others and technology creates more time and improves both our lifestyle and state of mind. We can do anything, but not everything. In Australia, we love DIY but maybe this approach to everything, is taking us away from what is important to us. The benefit of outsourcing is that you can then spend more time on the things you love, as well as achieving better results. The art is to being able to efficiently access trusted professional service providers, tradies and technology, so we can maintain our home, car, finances, career and health as examples.
Automation of tasks will generate speed, create consistency and reduce stress, by ensuring that no tasks are forgotten. Highly effective routines/habits are great, although a significant part of life as a parent is highly predictable, which can be better served by using technology to automate. This step is about doing a task once & then having it repeated forever or, until a better process is found. This includes never entering a task twice into your to-do list system, so there is significantly less to remember and think about.
6. Take action
Being able to take regular action needs to be extremely easy. This means we need to recognise and remove all obstacles that are stopping us getting things done. This may include removing any procrastination too. I believe just taking regular action, no matter how big or small, will also help reduce stress because we will feel a sense of progress.
Sharing the workload with others will help you and others too. Immersion is very powerful and helps with a sense of connection and contribution. It is important to surround ourselves with others who are on similar journeys or, who have previously achieved what you are wanting to-do. We can share experiences, strategies, contacts & tasks with other parents, as well as our friends & family. Like teams, together we can achieve more. This step is also about sharing the time saved by using these strategies, to spend more time doing what we enjoy, with our family and friends.
I found once we started using these steps we not only got more done, but more importantly, we felt back in-control, got our lives back and started having fun again.
Using these principles, we then created MoreDone to help you and your family too.